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Short papers / Boundaries in networked digital societies: Membranes as a new model of boundaries focusing on nonconscious cognition
- Abstract: Boundaries have provided humans a frame of understanding and foundation for social structures – like hierarchies, classes, and races. Acknowledging the development of technology has brought significant changes in human life, this paper explores a new model of boundaries that fits into a networked digital society and reexamines the idea of boundaries/borders as a solid wall that separates, segregates, isolates, and disconnects. Instead of a concrete wall, this paper suggests considering membranes as a model for boundaries in the technological era because of their semi-permeable and fluid nature, as well as their active engagements in relations/interactions between heterogeneous bodies. This idea of membranes in a technological society is exemplified in political borders, control mechanisms, and human-nonhuman cognition. Katherine Hayles’s discussions of cognisphere and nonconsciousness illustrate the semi-permeability of the boundaries between human and technological cognition, highlighting their interdependency and continuous inflows/outflows of information on the nonconscious level. The author introduces the process of creating an interactive art project Surrogate Being to demonstrate how the author experienced such a membrane-like boundary between heterogeneous yet interconnected modes of (digital and biological) memories about the same place.
- Biography: Su Hyun Nam is based in New York and Seoul as an interdisciplinary media artist and researcher working at the intersection of art, technology, science, and philosophy to investigate relationships with diverse nonhumans. Her work, including experimental video, interactive media, 3D game art, and media performance, has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues from Spain, UAE, Greece, and Singapore to South Korea. She was recently a selected artist by Korean Cultural Center in DC and is currently an artist-in-residence at Harvestworks Media Art Center. Su Hyun Nam earned an M.F.A in Art and Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Media Study from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is an Assistant Professor of Mixed Media in the Department of Contemporary Art at Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea.
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